USDA Releases Information on New Hemp Crop Insurance Coverage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2020
Contact:  Mary Peck, 303.869.9005, mary.peck@state.co.us
 
Broomfield, Colo. - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this week announced the availability of crop insurance protection for producers of hemp under two separate programs. With the availability of insurance through these programs,  hemp producers in Colorado may be able to obtain protection of their hemp crops from natural disasters. 
The pilot hemp insurance program, through Multi-Peril Crop Insurance, provides coverage against loss of yield because of insurable causes of loss for hemp grown for fiber, grain or Cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Coverage under the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program protects against losses associated with lower yields, destroyed crops or prevented planting where no permanent federal crop insurance program is available. 
The pilot insurance program provides Actual Production History coverage for eligible producers in certain counties in 21 states, including Colorado. The USDA has announced that coverage is available in Adams, Alamosa, Arapahoe, Baca, Bent, Boulder, Cheyenne, Costilla, Crowley, Delta, Dolores, Elbert, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Larimer, Las Animas, Lincoln, Logan, Mesa, Montezuma, Montrose, Morgan, Otero, Phillips, Prowers, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Saguache, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld, and Yuma counties in Colorado.
“We are pleased that Colorado’s hemp producers will now have protection under the new USDA program for this high value crop,” said Brian Koontz, Hemp Program Manager at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “We encourage farmers to research the coverage options available to them and to make informed decisions based on their own needs.”
A directory of Colorado insurance agents can be found on farmers.gov. The deadline to apply is March 16, 2020, and requires a minimum of five acres for CBD production and 20 acres for grain and fiber. Crop insurance provisions state that hemp having THC above the 0.3 compliance level will not constitute an insurable cause of loss. Additionally, hemp will not qualify for replant payments or prevented plant payments.
Beginning with the 2021 crop year, hemp will be insurable under the Nursery crop insurance program and the Nursery Value Select pilot crop insurance program. Under both programs, hemp will be insurable if grown in containers and in accordance with federal regulations, any applicable state or tribal laws, and terms of the crop insurance policy. Read the USDA press release here, and visit farmers.gov/manage/hemp for more information.
 
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The Colorado Department of Agriculture exists to support the state's agriculture industry and serve the people of Colorado through regulation, advocacy and education. Our mission is to strengthen and advance Colorado agriculture, promote a safe and high-quality food supply, protect consumers, and foster responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources.